The UK’s two leading children’s palliative care organisations, ACT and Children’s Hospices UK have this week merged to form a new powerful voice for life-limited and life-threatened children and young people, their families and those who provide them with support.
The new organisation, which will be known initially as ACT & Children’s Hospices UK, will work to ensure that children and young people and their families have the best possible care, wherever they live and for as long as they need it.
It will bring together, for the first time, all those involved in children’s palliative care, from the children, young people and families themselves to the professionals and organisations who provide the full range of care and support.
Commenting on the formation of the new organisation, Barbara Gelb, Chief Executive said:
“We are delighted to have achieved a merger at such a critical time for life-limited children and their families. With so much change taking place in health and social care across the UK, we are now ideally placed to provide a strong voice for children and families and support the very best standard of care equitably across the UK. Both organisations bring a wealth of unparalleled expertise in children’s palliative care, which we will harness and develop in the new organisation.
Today marks an important and exciting day as we start this work. There is a great deal to do and in the immediate months ahead, we will demonstrate the strength of our single voice in supporting families, working with governments across the UK to achieve improved services and sharing the very best practice across the sector”.
Lizzie Chambers, Deputy Chief Executive added:
“There are an estimated 23,500 children and young people in the UK who are unlikely to live to reach adulthood. We are here to ensure that every single one of them gets the best possible care and support from the moment of diagnosis, wherever they live and for as long as they need it. We will build on our combined strengths to raise awareness of their needs and those of their families and make sure they know about the care and support available to them and give them a say in shaping the services they use.
Children’s Hospices UK and ACT have rich heritage and experience in supporting professionals and providers, as well as children and families. Together, we will build on our successes in this new and dynamic charity, leading the way for the development of children’s palliative care across the UK.”